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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 9, 2013 5:50am-6:01am EST

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just lots of judges i know, people who will call me and say, this is a good person. they know that i do not care which school they went to. it could be lsu or it can be yale. i hire a small percentage from the ivy's. i hire quite a few more from the non-ivy's, simply because there are smart kids all over the place. i try to take them from the south. my part of the country. i try to prefer kids who come from modest circumstances, whose parents did not have all of the benefits, who didn't have all the advantages. that is just a preference. i am not going to bring kids in who disagree on first principles. i am not interested in arguing with 26-year-olds about that sort of stuff.
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i like kids who are not jerks. [laughter] i require kids to work together, and i do not need all of that disruption in my chamber. i have been enormously blessed with the kids i have had. very smart, very pleasant, very hard-working. they brought joy to my life. tomorrow, i will have lunch with about 35 former law clerks. we have monthly lunches. that is one of the monthly high points for me, to see my kids and to see how well they are doing. >> i understand that you take a pilgrimage to gettysburg every year with your law clerks -- or almost every year. >> those poor kids, i drag them there. i take them on my bus. i love going to gettysburg. at the end of the term, i think people tend to be a little jaded, a little upset about things.
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i am more idealistic in this job than i was before i took the job. i want them, after they see a term, i want them to go to gettysburg and think about the price that was paid for this country to exist. thanks to martha ann alito, we saw the wounded warriors today. [applause] it is one of the most heartfelt things that i have ever done, to see young people who have been mortally wounded in defense of this nation. it is hard to see them and not believe that we are doing -- that we have an obligation to continue to do the right thing. what i am trying to do in taking my clerks to gettysburg in a small way is to think about lincoln and that horrible war, the carnage that took place at gettysburg.
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think of all the animals that were killed, all of the human beings, all of the destruction that had occurred there. and he comes there three or four months later, november 19, to dedicate a 4-minute speech or whatever it was, and the things that he said, the eloquence of it to elevate that tragic moment, and what i am trying to get these kids to understand, after they see a term, after they see the imperfections, that they still believe. that they are still idealistic. even with the reality, they still believe that this is important and they understand why. so we go, yes, and i drag them across the battlefield. i do not feel all that bad about it. the point is simply to pull it all back together after you see how the sausage is made. that you still believe that it is all worthwhile. [applause]
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>> of course, next week, we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the gettysburg address. i do not know if you have some final thoughts on what lincoln's words meant to the country then and what they mean to us now. >> well, first of all, i would like to thank you and i would like to thank you all for staying so late to put up with me. [applause] very briefly, lincoln's words mean a lot to me personally because he was the great emancipator. i happen to be from the slaves that were affected by field order number 15 after the emancipation proclamation. also, i have to say that what
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lincoln had to say and what he did has affected our country enormously. we know that. but it has affected me too. no 13th amendment, no 14th amendment, no 15th amendment, my life is different. i certainly would not be sitting here, and i certainly would not be sitting on the supreme court of the united states. but in this speech, you hear this voice. it is perfectible. the country is perfectible. not perfect, but perfectible. the war was all about that. when i go into the building that i work in now, that is the theme i tried to carry with me and my clerks. it is perfectible. it is worth, every day, getting up and trying to make it right, trying to make it work. but you cannot do that if you do not do it on principle. it is not necessarily just about whether your methodology is this
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or that. it is about whether or not your principles are right, and they are the principles of this country. i thank you all, i thank you for this opportunity and god bless you. [applause] >> thank you, judge sykes. thank you, justice thomas. thank you, in particular,
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justice thomas, for sharing many of the lessons that you learned in that life well-lived. for those of us -- younger than me -- who will be the future of a this country, we appreciate your sense of calling and commitment to that calling to help perfect our union and to do it without hatred for those who oppose us and with cheerfulness. thank you again for your service and for your lessons. [applause] rule >> and next, q&a with david finkel. analyze at 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on "washington journal." members of thend
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house of commons will offer tribute to nelson mandela. live coverage from parliament beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span2. the wireline world is really the central circulatory system of our country. it is the veins and the arteries that connect the information economy in the u.s. trafficeeing data increase at the rate of 40% per year. it is wireline networks that connect communication, whether they originate in a wireless or wireline environment. america's future is a wireline environment. >> the future of the communications industry at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2.
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>> this week on "q&a," pulitzer prize-winning journalist david finkel discusses his latest book titled, "thank you for your service." >> david finkel, at what point did you decide to call this book "thank you for your service"? >> it happened late in the game after i turned in the manuscript and we were searching for a title. i had another one in mind, which was "the suicide room." when i mention that to the publisher, she said, that is just a traffic title. are you trying to put us out of business? i said, i would read that book. she said, that is really not the right title for this book. we sat and batted it around. there is something about this phrase. i was worried it would come across as judgmental in some way or people would see it as almost bitterly ironic and that was not
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the intention. it is a much simpler meaning, which comes down to, this is what i got comfortable with finally, if you read the book and get to know the people inside the book, you will have a better sense. if you say this ubiquitous phrase, you will have a much clearer idea of what you are thanking them for. >> how many of the people you are writing about in this book were in the first book about iraq, "the good soldiers"? >> one was named and the others were circling around the edges, not named. these were people i had gotten to know during the reporting of the first book, which was in baghdad during the surge. the army infantry battalion. these guys went into the part of the war called the surge. they were there for 15 months in a lousy neighborhood in east


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